After years of using traditional soil-based growing methods for my indoor cannabis cultivation, I recently made the switch to Recirculating Deep Water Culture (RDWC). I know a lot of people are wondering why, as I have long been a big fan of living soil, and Korean natural farming. There were several reasons for this, including a hernia surgery that made it difficult to move heavy soil pots around, a desire for a cleaner growing environment, greater control over nutrients, ability to dial in my efforts better, and the convenience of being able to easily move my plants around. In this blog, I will discuss my thoughts about RDWC and why I believe it could be a great growing method.
Firstly, RDWC allows for a cleaner growing environment. Soil-based growing methods can be messy, with dirt, insects, and plant debris scattered around the growing area. With RDWC, the plants are suspended in nutrient-rich water, eliminating the need for soil and significantly reducing the amount of mess. While outdoor, being able to build soil is key. Indoors, the true forces of nature to help build soil just don't exist, and no method seems to be the answer to provide clean rooms, and build soil, and make the workflow work. With me being back in college to get a business degree, my time has become....tight.
Additionally, I appreciate the greater control over nutrient delivery that RDWC provides. By monitoring and adjusting nutrient levels, pH, and temperature, I can create an ideal growing environment for my plants. This allows me to fine-tune the nutrient levels to suit the specific needs of each plant, leading to healthier, more productive plants and hopefully, healthier, and well-developed seeds.
One of the main reasons for my switch to RDWC was also my hernia surgery. I find it difficult to move heavy soil pots around, lug water or hoses around, and with RDWC, the plants are suspended in water, making them much easier to transplant into. I can go directly from the aero cloner, into the RDWC system. Supposedly, I can expect to see much faster veg turnover as well, but I will keep everyone posted on how that goes.
So, how does RDWC work? In this system, plants are suspended in net pots that are placed in a nutrient-rich water solution. The water is recirculated through a pump and tubing system, which cascades into the main hub reservoir pot, which adds massive airflow in. This maximizes the n oxygen levels and keeps things consistent throughout the growing area. This allows plants to grow faster and produce more fruit or flowers than they would in soil-based growing methods. This first run I will have one led light worth of soil as well, so I can side by side the flowers afterwards. My goal is the best quality seeds and flowers I can produce. After moving back from Hawaii, we don't have the space that I typically am used to, so maximizing what I have to work with, is a much higher priority than typically.